Why Do I Have Painful Foot Cramps?

Why Do I Have Painful Foot CrampsYour foot cramps could be trying to tell you that you are dehydrated, wearing the wrong shoes, or not eating enough, among many other things.

Foot muscles are prone to spasms, which cause uncomfortable cramping capable of striking at any time of day or night.  Foot cramps are more common as you age, and often wake people up out of a deep sleep. While they can be rather uncomfortable they are not necessarily harmful. 

There are several common causes of foot cramps. By identifying the cause of your foot cramps you can help prevent them from happening in the future.

Here Are Some Reasons You May Have Painful Foot Cramps

You’re Thirsty

When you don’t drink enough water each day your body suffers from it. One of the many ways your body tells you it’s thirsty is through foot and leg cramps. Hydration is the most common cause of cramping, it is also the easiest to fix. Make sure you are getting enough water each day and if your foot cramps still persist…

You Need New Shoes

Some shoes were made for walking and others were not. Even shoes made for walking eventually blow out, leaving your feet with little to no support, just extra weight to carry around. Unsupportive, heavy or old shoes can easily contribute to foot cramps. Also, women that wear heels are more likely to develop foot cramps. Try switching up your shoes to see if that makes a difference.

You’re Not Eating Enough

You might be eating enough bulk to keep you feeling full, but are you eating the right nutrients to keep your body happy? You need a healthy balance of calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. If you’re not eating a healthy dose of all nutrients you could experience physical side effects, such as foot cramps.

You Need To Stretch More

Stretching is necessary for a healthy physical body. In order to keep muscles strong and supple you should stretch every day. Tight, un-stretched muscles are more prone to cramping.

You Worked Out Too Hard

If you went too hard at the gym last night, even harder than usual, foot cramps could result due to muscle fatigue.

You Are Taking A Medication

Certain medications may cause foot cramps as a side effect, such as statins and furosemide (Lasix). Take note of when your foot cramps started; was it soon after you started taking a new medication?

You Have Poor Blood Circulation

If blood circulation is an issue for you, foot cramps may result as a side effect. A sign of poor circulation is if cramping worsens when you walk around. If you get bad foot cramps that make it difficult to walk you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

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How To Help Ease Foot Cramps

Until you identify the cause of your foot cramps you need some ways to help reduce the discomfort.

If foot cramps strike in bed, stand up and put weight on the affected foot.

Apply a heating pad to the affected foot in order to help relax the muscle.

Soak in a tub filled with warm water and Epsom salt.

If you are experiencing pretty bad pain or discomfort you may want to consider taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.

The Importance Of Stretching

Stretching is hugely beneficial in order to reduce foot cramps. A basic calf stretch includes standing facing a wall with your palms placed against it. Stand so that your arms are stretched out straight touching the wall. Step your affected leg backwards and then lean forward on your opposite leg as you push against the wall.

You could also try what is known as the towel stretch. Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you. Point the toes of your affected foot upwards towards the ceiling. With a towel wrapped around your affected foot, hold tight to both sides with each hand. Begin to lift your leg straight up until you feel the stretch. Hold for 3 deep breaths in and out. Even if your other foot is not bothering you, you should always repeat the same stretch on the opposite side to keep your body balanced.

How To Prevent Foot Cramps In The Future

You can help prevent foot cramps altogether by:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Stretching every day, especially prior to exercising
  • Drink limited or no alcohol
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Increase physical activity in paced intervals

If you are experiencing foot cramps and don’t know why, visit Urgent Medical Center today for fast answers and solutions!

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